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More Exciting Free Things to do in Adelaide

Home > Adelaide > Long Weekend | Fun Things To Do | Free | Family | Easter
by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. Please click the link to Like my articles, and subscribe to see more.
Published September 6th 2012
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More Exciting Free Things to do in Adelaide

There can never be enough free things to do, and school holidays brings its own challenges of how to keep kids happily occupied. Or even just yourself.

school holidays, activities, adelaide
Looking for fun in the school holidays?

I've pulled together quite a list. But feel free to add more in the comments if you think I have missed something special.

school holidays, activities, adelaide
Don't stress over holidays

For simplicity I have split them all into categories.

Activities in parks and reserves
Adelaide has a huge number of parks and reserves that are perfect for activities - with or without kids.

Warrawong wildlife park is free to visit, and you can spot a range of native animals wandering freely around. By comparison, take the family to Cleland wildlife park and it will set you back at least $50.

Head to Scott Creek Conservation Park and visit a silver mine or an early settler's cottage. Or simply get lost in the enormous park, the only sound being the wind in the trees, an occasional bird, and your kids yelling as they chase one another through the scrub.

scott creek conservation park
Beautiful Vistas in Scott Creek Conservation Park

If you enjoy bike riding, explore the trails in Shepherds Hill Reserve, take a ride along the River Torrens linear park as many other families do every weekend. If you get to West Beach you will find even more new paths to explore along the esplanade.

Or use a free loan bike to explore the city. There are great places to go around Adelaide Zoo, the Botanic Gardens, and East Terrace.

Visit a historic house like Carrick Hill, with its beautiful gardens and bushland trails. There is a charge to go inside the house though. Explore one of the many bushland reserves in the foothills, or find all the free attractions in Morialta Conservation Park.

morialta conservation park
Spectacular Morialta Conservation Park

If you're not quite so energetic, how about feeding the ducks at Warriparinga Wetlands, Apex Park at West Beach, or on the River Torrens.

Exhibitions and museums
I'm going to start here with an old faithful, the free South Australian Museum which constantly updates its collections and displays. The Migration Museum, Art Gallery and the National Wine Centre are all free to visit.

Tandanya Cultural Institute is a little off the beaten track, and easily missed. But don't miss its colourful (and free) display of beautiful indigenous art.

Another place for art lovers is the Experimental Art Foundation in the Lion Arts Centre on North Terrace.

Just out of the city you can find the Army Museum at Keswick. It has loads of Army related things on offer, including weapons, books, and a vehicle restoration area. A coin donation may be required for entry.

If you are near Glenelg, call in at the Bay Discovery Centre to learn about the cultural history of Holdfast Bay (gold coin donation requested).

glenelg, tram, shopping, the bay, adelaide
Shopping at The Bay

Many other Councils also have their own free museums, like Unley and Mitcham. Check your local Council's website.

And if you are holidaying or travelling through the country, remember that most towns proudly display their own history in a local museum, and entry is usually free (or next to nothing).

Take a walk in Adelaide's CBD or on the edge.

Veale gardens, south parklands, adelaide
Picturesque Veale Gardens in the South Parklands

Stroll in the South Parklands, and visit tranquil Himeji Gardens.

Many areas have their own local walks mapped out - for example Mitcham Council has a great series of free Heritage Walks or Trails in bushland settings. Check your own council website to see what is listed there - after all, you've already paid for these activities to be developed.

mitcham council trails bushland
Mitcham Council Trails for Pedestrians, Cyclists & Horses

Visit a library, borrow a book, some music or a DVD. Some libraries even lend toys. too. Check your council website for school holiday activities. Research your family history - most libraries have a selection of resources for this.

You can Find Libraries Almost Anywhere
You can Find Libraries Almost Anywhere

A recent One Card initiative means you won't be restricted to your local library any longer - one card enables you to borrow from other libraries without fuss.

Do a home energy audit by borrowing a Home Energy Toolkit free from any library. With power bills increasing this is a great way to spend some time and save yourself some money!

rotary, secondhand bookshop, cumberland park
Visit a Secondhand Bookshop for Cheap Books & Music

And if you prefer to keep your books after reading them, a few dollars go a long way at a secondhand bookshop. And you are supporting charity too.

Sports and playgrounds
Dig out the footy, soccer, cricket, or basket ball and use the facilities in your local park for a game. There are often playgrounds for younger kids adjacent to most sports fields, sometimes with BBQ facilities as well.

playgrounds, school holidays
Find the Right Playground for Your Kids

Not quite a sport, but you can play giant chess for free in the city.

Kids love a day at the beach - even in winter they can find some fun, whether it be throwing a frisbee, playing cricket or volleyball, exercising the family dog, or having an ice cream. And there's less chance of sunburn when the weather is cooler.

Probably the best playground in SA is at St Kilda, with a great range of free things for active kids (or adults) to do. There is a nearby Tram Museum too, if the budget can be stretched.

clarence gardens bowling club
Clarence Gardens Bowling Club Welcomes New Members

Many Lawn Bowls clubs are keen for new members, and regularly offer a Try Bowls day for free. Check with your local club - you will be surprised how many young people have taken up the sport.

Shopping and markets
There are no shortage of markets listed on Weekend Notes. Two of my favourites are the Gepps Cross and The Original Open Market. If you need some tips on negotiating the right price, read on here.

markets, original open market, adelaide
Markets Are Fun For All

If it's a bit cold for an outdoor market, try Myponga Market, the Marion Art & Craft market or the Lions Market.

But if you're looking on a weekday when most are closed, I would recommend The Brickworks Markets

myponga market, macclesfield market, strathalbyn market, meadows market, original open market
Choose Your Market Well and Find Anything

Remember too that many shopping centres offer attractions to lure you in during the school holidays. Elizabeth and Rundle Mall are just two of the centres with holiday activities. Of course Ikea isn't far behind, with a school holiday Treasure Hunt.
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Why? You never can have too many things to do
Where: All over Adelaide
Cost: Free
Your Comment
What an excellent read! I am now done with university and am thinking of ways to enhance my possibly final three-four months in Adelaide - thanks for the great tips, Dave! :-)
by Tema (score: 2|885) 3855 days ago
Great read! You know what they say, the best things in life are free!
by misslulu (score: 1|88) 3844 days ago
great info thank you
Why is there an ad for a photography class amongst the article ? it's annoying and distracting,in this and all other articles. Sorry ,but couldn't find the appropriate place to place this.
by marie (score: 1|24) 3551 days ago
Thanks Fatema :)
I hope that you find something that you enjoy on the list, and that you have good memories of your visit.
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|11309) 3855 days ago
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